Saturday, July 23, 2011

What Awaits You

That's my daughter in the photo.  In an earlier blog post, I wrote about her brother and mindfulness.  Here it is.  Alas, being an equal opportunity Dad, I must write about her too. I love this snapshot.  It really does capture a moment-- FEARLESSNESS.  She was little more than a year old and walking independently-- just going forth to all that is out there.  She's teetering down the sloped hill, head on a swivel taking in everything all at once and intuitively knowing the here and now.  The whole world is right there in front of her waiting to be had.  And she does not want to miss one single moment.

That's her alright.  Going to it with exuberance.  Whatever she is doing at a particular moment is the Best Thing Ever.  No reservations.  No agenda.  No expectations. 

She enters into each space with bountiful trust. In the moment. Here. Now. Fully present. She remains completely open and accepting. Believing.  Without fear.

Sometimes I think we find ourselves paralyzed by indecision.  Hesitant by the 'what if' of disappointment and self-doubt.  Instead, why not open up to the 'what if' of possibility and discovery and the personal growth that comes from it. 

Go forth, Daughter of Mine!  I am right there with you.  And thanks for the lesson.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Friends and Flowers

In a way, nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small, we haven't time-- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. -Georgia O'Keeffe

Coming from her, that is quite a statement.  A powerful, humbling one.  After all, she is Georgia O'Keeffe-- the artist who made us all look at flowers like never before.

We cannot see every flower we come across, can we?    It is true-- flowers are small.  She knew that and so she painted them huge.  That is what Georgia O'Keeffe saw and she made it her own.  Of course, we took notice. 
Still, there are some flowers you find yourself noticing more than others.  Maybe a Jack-in-the-Pulpit tickles your fancy.  Or the fragrance of Lilly-of-the-Valley floats your boat. Whatever it may be, you have taken the time to notice.

The part that interests me, though, is her belief of how to have a friend takes time.  We cannot become friends with every person we come across, can we?  What do you notice in a person that compels you to reach out and begin to form a friendship?  How does it develop for you?  What do you do to nurture a friendship?

These Jack-in-the-Pulpit paintings were created in 1930.  That got me thinking.  Georgia O'Keeffe did not have Twitter or Facebook. I find myself conflicted. Does having a friend mean posting on Facebook and maintaining connections with friends?  I have some friends that I have not seen for ages and ages, but I am able to stay connected to them with the immediacy of the Internet.  Or is it necessary to be intimate and face-to-face? After all, sometimes more is communicated by what is left unspoken.  And, this can only be observed in a personal encounter.  How do you weigh in on this?

No matter the time, 1930 or 2011, I suppose what this speaks to are the intentions you set and how you go about your business of living-- and connecting.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Summer Reading for Educators

This next bundle of books in my Books to Inspire link are for summer reading.

Nurture Shock is my professional selection.  It really challenges the way we go about teaching and rearing children.  By way of extensive research and case studies on intelligence, kindness, aggression, peer pressure, etc... the authors convey that we have mistaken good intentions for good ideas.  It is a compelling must-read for parents and educators.

My personal pick is Drive:  The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  I think you will come away with personal insights as to what motivates you.  There is even a tool kit with strategies for you to put to practice.

If I Never Forever Endeavor is my choice for Kid Lit.  The message is one to keep close to your heart:  believe in yourself, nestle close to encouragement, give your best effort!

What is on your summer reading list?